Elham Shafaei


Elham Shafaei received her B.A Bachelor of Painting (Arts) in 2007. In 2010 She moved to Malaysia where she obtained M.A (Fine Arts) in Papermaking and PhD (Fine Arts) in Painting that examined the role of melancholia in creative life through studio research as well as a written dissertation. In 2016 she relocated to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where she currently resides and pursues her studio practice. Her art has been featured in various regional and international exhibitions. Elham is the Co-Founder and Co-Editor at ContemporaryIdentities International Online Art Magazine-Gallery. She has initiated and continue to develop curatorial projects that endeavor to connect practitioners of contemporary art across the world. In 2021 she founded i.e. Art Projects Online Art Foundation. Currently, she is working as Industrial Fellow at School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia. 

The Importance of Loss

"Elham creates new objects by connecting different pieces of different objects. This new object is similar to a new creature whose limbs are the remains of other objects and its organs are loosely connected. This object is strangely familiar to us.  It reminds us of a person whom we have already known from before. He/she reminds us of the memory of that person, which still exists with all its ambiguity and scattered presence. Thus, Elham’s object finds a human equivalent and its structural elements become its limbs, actions and reactions. Its suspended organ appears as if on the verge of collapse and fragmentation. This expresses very similar feeling to the inner reality of contemporary self." (Mehrdad Mohebali, 2020)

"The notion of Loss has been an integral part of Elham’s artistic temperament. In fact, Loss is a rather universal phenomenon for we all begin with a fundamental Loss, which is that of the maternal body. We began our being as a continuity with another body and become an individual by virtue of the cutting of the umbilical cord and thus we fell into the world. We enter the world as foreigners and forever submit ourselves to a profound sense of not belonging. Our existence will always be structured by Loss and un-belonging, which entail our eternal desire to belong. Love, family, friendship, patriotism, even work itself are among the names of this desire. Elham’s art extends the names of this desire through melancholic faces, cuttings and stitches that express the idea of being removed, displaced, transplanted and re-attached." (Dr. Izmer Bin Ahmad, 2019)

"Carefully observing the path created by the young artist in the direction of identifying the narrated subjects, we forcefully find the desire for the recapture of identity through a branched introspection imbued with sociological contents. That identity which the subject has lost over time, which it perceives as the loss of the very essence of the signs and forms that have characterized it. They themselves put in place the natural necessity, their primordial genesis for the re acquisition of their symbolic structure.                                                        The emotional recall of the canvases on the lead of a new vision-form, meets with the  characteristics of the beings created by Lynch, in the artist's search to bring out the existential voids generated by symbolic detachments."(Ivan Bissoli, 2019)

  • Mehrdad Mohebali, Artist

  • Dr. Izmer Bin Ahmad, Art Professor

  • Ivan Bissoli, Art Writer, Director And Curator